Are you passionate about the environment? Do you want to help monitor and preserve the lakes of Haliburton County for future generations?
The Woodlands and Waterways EcoWatch program is looking for aquatic monitoring volunteers to take part in free Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network training with the potential to become certified.
Woodlands & Waterways EcoWatch (WWEW) is a community-based environmental monitoring program co-ordinated by the U-Links Centre for Community Based Research in conjunction with several volunteer and not-for-profit organizations in the Haliburton Region. The program utilizes Trent University and Fleming College’s resources and knowledge to assist community organizations in monitoring the long-term health of the forests and lakes of Haliburton County and the surrounding region. WWEW’s programming is guided by a steering committee comprised of individuals from lake, cottage, and property owners’ associations, the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust, Trent and Fleming faculty, and U-Links staff. These dedicated individuals bring unique perspectives to WWEW that result in an infectious enthusiasm for ensuring that our local natural resources can be maintained into the future.
In order to sustain WWEW’s current and long-term benthic biomonitoring initiatives, we are looking for members of local lake associations interested in helping preserve our lakes and becoming citizen science volunteers. In 2022, WWEW will be providing free training to new and existing volunteers on how to sample and identify benthic macroinvertebrates. These are small insects living in near-shore areas that are known to be sensitive to changes in water quality.
The training follows protocols established by the Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network and participants will have the opportunity to become OBBN certified.
The instructor for the training sessions is Barb Elliot, a long-time professor in the ecosystem management program at Fleming College and a certified taxonomist with the Society for Freshwater Science. It will be a combination of virtual and in-person sessions with the in-person days taking place at Windy Pine Conference Centre.
The training will take place in multiple sessions as follows:
Day 1 (Virtual) – Thursday, March 10 – 9:00 a.m. to noon
Day 2 (Virtual) – Thursday, March 24 – 9:00 a.m. to noon
Day 3 (Field Day) – Saturday, June 4 – completion of field sheets, and identification practice – 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Day 4 (Certification Testing) – Saturday, June 11 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Spots for the training are on a first come, first serve basis. Don’t miss this opportunity to become OBBN certified; join us in monitoring and preserving the lakes of Haliburton County for future generations to enjoy. For more information or if you are interested in becoming a WWEW volunteer, please contact Sadie Fischer at U-Links, by emailing email@example.com or calling 705-286-2411.
Submitted by U-Links Centre for Community Based Research